Coping with Mistakes
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Numb3rs and I'm not making any money from this fic
Summary: Follows Reinstating Trust. Don deals with Colby's actions and lies after episode one of season four. AU
Warning(s): Spanking (fairly severe); some mentions of torture/violence; spoilers up to and including episode one of Season four of Numb3rs; AU
Pairing: Don/Colby (slash)
Author's Note: Follows Reinstating Trust. I will probably do more stories with this pairing in a kind of series
Colby winced as he settled himself in the chair in his apartment, still feeling somewhat bruised from the blood that had been taken from him for tests to make sure the drugs had finally left his system. A part of Colby supposed he ought to be grateful, though. He was alive, which was far more than he'd expected to be following his capture and subsequent torture.
No one had said anything, but Colby figured Charlie had played a big part in the others choosing to rescue him.
Unfortunately, even though he had been rescued, it didn't change anything. The moment Colby had got out of the hospital, he'd realised he'd damaged things – probably irreparably – with his team-mates. David wouldn't even talk to him anymore and Don? Well, Don had made it clear in no uncertain terms that Colby had lost his trust. Colby couldn't blame him, but he would do anything if he thought it would get him a second chance.
The television was on, but Colby barely paid any attention to the screen. The past couple of nights, he'd woken up in a cold sweat, just about holding back the screams he'd refused to give voice to while he was being tortured. It wasn't much comfort that he hadn't given any information. He might have had training in resisting interrogation, but that didn't mean actually facing torture had been anything less than terrifying and sickening.
Not much was worse than knowing how he'd let his friends down, though – if he could even call them that anymore.
When he'd first spoken to Kirkland, Colby had known what it would mean to work as a triple agent; that he'd have to lie and probably betray the people he cared about. Ever since joining Don's team at the FBI, he'd known the friendships probably wouldn't last. He'd tried not to get too close – but first there was David; and then he'd ended up falling hard for Don.
The only problem now was that he'd messed up so badly, he'd lost everything. Colby didn't know who hated him more – his former team-mates or himself.
The knock on the door brought Colby out of his reverie and he frowned, standing up and then walking slowly over to the door. He looked through the spyhole and paused when he saw it was Don. A part of him wondered if he'd been so desperate to see Don, he'd conjured him up inside his head. Either that or he was hallucinating again.
Colby decided it didn't matter if he was hallucinating or not. He wanted to see Don so desperately, he was willing to take anything – even an image created through his own mind.
Colby unlocked the door and pulled it open.
"Hey. I brought pizza." Don stepped into the apartment, carrying a pizza box resting on his arm. "Everything on it, right? Just the way you like it."
"I'm not hungry." Colby closed and locked the door behind Don.
Don turned to give him a long, serious look. "When was the last time you ate?"
Colby shrugged and tried to give that some thought. In the end, he more or less gave up. "Last proper meal was probably before I got arrested." He stood there, wanting to ask what Don was doing at his apartment, but not able to ask in so many words. "How'd you know where I live?"
"I figured it was important to know where I could find you if I needed to." Don set the pizza down and then turned to Colby. "Do you know why I told you to take time off?"
"I figured it was because none of you can stand to even look at me." The words slipped out of Colby's mouth before he could stop them and he frowned. For someone who had managed to resist torture and interrogation, he was sure spilling things to Don right now.
Don snorted softly. "Have you looked at yourself?" he asked. "You were tortured, Colby. You think you can just come back and pretend everything's normal?"
"No," Colby said honestly. "Nothing's going to be normal again." He paused and then continued, although it hurt to do so, "I already filled out my resignation papers. You can take them with you when you leave." His eyes went to the papers on his desk.
Don walked over and picked up the papers. He glanced through them and then quite deliberately ripped them up. "Request denied."
"Are you serious?" Colby demanded, an edge to his voice. "You don't trust me! I can't be... on the team if you don't believe you can trust me." He'd stumbled over the comment. He'd nearly said he couldn't be with Don if he couldn't trust him, but he wasn't going to start down that road. He couldn't deal with knowing for sure he'd screwed his relationship up with Don.
"You earn trust back, even if it seems completely hopeless." Don moved towards Colby. "It's only over if you want it to be. Do you?"
Colby knew instinctively that Don was talking about their relationship and he shook his head. "But you can't just..." He hesitated, not sure how to continue that sentence. Instead, he asked, "Where do we go from here?"
"Do you remember what I told you the last time you lied to me?"
Colby came close to flinching at the memory of that. Don had given him a hard punishment with that pointer and had promised Colby a much worse one if he ever lied again. And Don had found out he'd been lying for the two years since they'd known each other...
"I've got the pointer in my car," Don said. He made a gesture towards the couch. "If you're not hungry yet, we can put the pizza aside for now and you can just get out of those clothes and get bent over the couch."
Colby frowned. "You want me to take off all my clothes?" Don had never punished him bare – only ever over his underpants.
"I told you you'd get it worse and that's exactly what you're gonna get." Don ran a hand over Colby's shoulder. "But then it'll be over. You'll be able to forgive yourself and we can move on. I can't speak for the others, though. Might be you'll need to figure out a way to make things up to them."
"I know." But Colby was relieved that Don wasn't about to give up on him, even if he was dreading Don's warning about the punishment being worse. His hands went to the fastenings of his trousers, almost of their own accord, and he was rewarded with a squeeze to his shoulder before Don left his apartment.
It didn't seem to be that long before Colby had removed all of his clothes. He felt more than a little self-conscious as he folded them neatly and placed them on the nearest chair before leaning forward, placing his hands on the back of the sofa. It briefly occurred to him that it was possible some complete stranger might walk in and see him like this, but in all the years he'd been here, that would never happen. Charlie would probably be able to tell him to the nearest percentage how likely it was that someone would walk into the apartment.
And Colby could just imagine how that conversation would go. He'd managed to keep this part of the relationship between him and Don a secret. He didn't want anyone to find out Don punished him, especially not Don's younger brother.
When Colby heard the door open, he quickly looked back over his shoulder, relieved to see it was Don there. He looked away as Don locked the door once more, feeling his stomach jump. This was nothing like knowing he was going to be tortured and he wondered why it felt so different.
As Don came nearer to him, Colby couldn't help stiffening a little. He felt Don's hand on his back and jumped, then settled down. It was strange how vulnerable he felt while he was naked and Don was clothed. The feel of the cold metal against his bare skin made it feel like he was getting goosebumps and he clenched his fists as Don tapped the pointer against his bare backside.
When the first strike landed, Colby jerked almost upright, letting out a sharp breath. He managed to regain his position, but he'd never expected it to hurt so much without the protection of his boxers.
The next strike landed directly below the first, leaving a line of fire in its wake. Colby managed to stay down, but his backside was aching already and Don had barely started. The strokes were controlled, but that didn't give him much comfort.
Don landed the strokes directly under each other, going from the top of Colby's bottom to about midway down his thighs. Then, he landed another row, all directly on top of the previous – as if Don was aiming particularly for where the pointer had already landed.
By the time the third such pattern was completed, Colby was almost panting from the pain. He wasn't going to beg for Don to go easier on him, but Don hadn't been kidding when he'd said it was going to be much worse.
Don paused, finally, and then released his breath in a long sigh. "Come on. Let's take a break."
A break? Colby didn't think he could take much more of this, but he didn't argue. Slowly, he unclenched his fists and straightened up, resisting the urge to reach back and rub. He looked up at Don, but didn't move otherwise. If it wasn't over yet, that meant forgiveness wasn't forthcoming.
"You got some sweatpants or something to wear?" Don asked. "Not that I mind, but you might be a little more comfortable if you're dressed while we eat."
"I'm not hungry."
"I'm not asking." Don grabbed the pizza box and headed through to the kitchen.
Colby took advantage of Don being in the kitchen to reach back and gently rub his backside, hissing out a breath when he felt how hot it was. It all but burned to the touch. And it wasn't over yet...
Colby grabbed his trousers and slipped them on, deciding to forego his boxers for now. He remained standing, knowing how painful sitting would be.
A few minutes later, Don came back into the room with the box of pizza and two cans of beer. He tossed one to Colby and then put the pizza box down on the table. "Eat," he ordered.
Deciding there wasn't much point in arguing, Colby undid the can and drained about half of the contents, before he picked up a slice of pizza and began eating it. He wanted to ask Don what else he planned to do, but changed his mind. He wasn't sure he wanted to know.
Don sat down on the couch and took a slice himself. "You sure you don't want to sit down too?" he asked, a grin touching at the edge of his mouth.
Colby snorted softly. "You try getting whacked with that thing and see how comfortable you are."
"Come on." Don reached for Colby's hand, pulling him closer. He tugged down and kissed Colby, hard, almost bruisingly so.
Colby wasn't normally submissive, but he always found himself opening to Don: letting him take control; letting him punish him. He yielded to the kiss, glad that he hadn't destroyed them, even if he did have a long way to go towards earning that trust back.
Don finally ended the kiss, but let his hand linger on Colby's shoulder for a few moments. "Eat – and then we can carry on."
"You know, you're making it really hard for me to want to eat this." Colby did continue eating, though, realising just how hungry he was now that he'd been forced into it. It was so easy to just let Don take charge, almost frighteningly so.
For the next several minutes, there was only the sound of the two men eating and drinking in comfortable silence. Then, once they were done, Don picked up the rubbish and headed out to the kitchen. When he came back in, he paused, looking at Colby. "I never said thanks."
Colby frowned. "For what?"
"You stopped Dwayne shooting me."
Colby shrugged. "I wasn't going to let him hurt any of you. Besides, you trusted that I was telling you the truth – enough to come and save me."
"I wish we'd known sooner," Don said, with a slight edge to his voice. "You shouldn't have had to go through that."
"It's not like I had a choice." Colby didn't want to think about the torture anymore. "Are we doing this?"
Don watched him for a few more moments and then nodded. "Yeah. We're doing this." He sat down on the couch. "We're doing this a little differently now."
"You want me...?" Colby swallowed, suddenly feeling like a child in trouble.
Colby wanted to say no. He wanted to refuse. But his feet moved of their own accord, taking him to within arm's length of Don. As soon as he was close enough, Don reached out and pulled him forward to stand in front of him, pulling his trousers down once more. He then gave a tug and Colby fell forward over Don's lap, hands shooting out to catch his balance.
As soon as Colby was properly supported, Don's hand began landing hard and fast on his bared backside, sometimes landing on the strikes. This time, Colby couldn't hold back his cries as the fire in his backside was ignited, making him halfway convinced his skin was ablaze.
The smacks and grunts of pain echoed through the apartment, making Colby cringe and hope that the walls weren't too thin. The last thing he needed was for someone to come and investigate the noises.
The whole spanking seemed to last an age. By the time it was over, Colby's face was wet with the tears he hadn't been able to keep in – and maybe that was the point. Don's hand wasn't spanking anymore, but was instead rubbing soft, soothing circles on his back. Then, once Colby's shuddering had ceased, Don helped him up, wrapping his arms around Colby in a tight embrace.
Colby leaned his head against Don's shirt and didn't bother trying to pull away. Don just kept his arm around his shoulders, apparently completely comfortable with just staying with Colby as long as he needed it.
"What time do you have to leave?"
"I was thinking maybe I'd crash here tonight." The smile was obvious. "You might need some company."
"What about work?"
"You up to coming back tomorrow?" Don responded. "You know, until the higher-ups figure out what to do with you?"
"Yeah, sure." But for now, Colby was entirely content to stay like this with Don.